Curious Comfort at Avellana Art Gallery
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Francesca Balaguer-Mercado presents Curious Comfort, a collection of new works at the Avellana Art Gallery this September 28 to November 16, 2013.
Balaguer-Mercado will show a series of photographs inspired by personal life-altering events since returning to Manila in 2011.
Her images represent experiences with loved ones, and her physical and emotional states during those trying times.

Francesca Balaguer-Mercado

Balaguer-Mercado’s series comprises ten images, all created with the underlying belief that something beautiful can come from an otherwise arduous situation.
The images vary in size, representing the scale of emotions felt by the artist, from large and assaulting to small and intimate.

Francesca Balaguer-Mercado

Balaguer-Mercado graduated with honors from the University of the Philippines, Diliman with a degree in Film and Audio Visual Communications. She later moved to the US and pursued further studies, earning an MFA degree in Photography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Her experiences and apprenticeships abroad have shaped her extremely hands-on process, resulting in a unique style of visual storytelling.

Francesca Balaguer-Mercado

Opening reception is on September 28, 2013, 6 PM at the Avellana Art Gallery, 2680 F.B. Harrison Street, Pasay City.
For inquiries call 833-3357 or email

Proudrace opens Ayala Museum Designtalks 2013
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If you’ve ever wondered how Manila-grown streetwear label Proudrace has found itself in racks all over the world, don’t miss Ayala Museum’s DesignTalks lecture series on September 21, 2013, 3 PM at the Ayala Museum Ground Floor Lobby.
Composed of Pat Bondoc and Rik Rasos, Proudrace’s brand of casual clothing is synonymous to sleek but rebellious streetwear.
Since 2010, stockists in California, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and more have carried their products.
And wherever their name takes them, the designers proudly share their Manila roots and tag their clothing as “handmade in the Philippines.”

Proudrace in Malaysia




If you’ve ever dreamed of selling your brand globally, don’t miss this talk.
Admission is Php 300, or a discounted rate of Php 150 available to students, teachers, senior citizens and Ayala Museum members with corresponding IDs.


Ayala Museum is located at Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City.
For inquiries call 759-8288 local 35 or 29, or email

Houston revisited
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Last month I had a chance to have dinner with angels, when I accompanied two friends to a special gathering of women who have had breast cancer.
The dinner was held at Mom & Tina’s Bakery Cafe in Pasig.
I think there were only two people there that did not have cancer—me and a husband who had accompanied his wife—he deserves a medal!

Cancer warriors and survivors

The minute I entered the room I really felt like I was in the presence of angels. I cannot describe it. Maybe it is because people who go through cancer see the world differently. They’re like warriors, touched by God.
I used to be very scared of cancer until I looked it in the eye when my cousin was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in 2007. After that, I learned a lot. I am still deathly afraid of it, so my defense mechanism is to help people with cancer, hoping that by doing so, maybe God will spare me?

Now in my 40s, it seems like I know quite a few people who are being diagnosed with cancer in their 30s, 40s, 50s.
Too young if you ask me. That and my recent discovery of Grey’s Anatomy (I am now in Season 8) have made me think about the three weeks I spent in Houston, taking care of my cousin at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

In January 2008, my other cousin and I first took an EVA Air flight to Taiwan before landing in Los Angeles

Los Angeles

From LAX we changed planes to Houston’s Bush International Airport


After dropping our bags at a nearby hotel, we went straight to the hospital


I am always happy to see older people working (except at NAIA)


This way to my cousin


She passed away in 2008


This is where I prayed


The chapel was built in memory of Mirtha Dunn, who had been a patient at the hospital


Bless this couple

chapel sign
Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Manero (left) was my cousin’s main doctor


Dr. Charles Koller, bless him

Dr. Charles Koller

Some of the nurses were Filipino


My cousin and I used to trip on this male nurse


and this is what chemo looks like. My cousin used to call it her “Christmas tree” 🙂


My shift was from 2-11 PM—or earlier if my cousin got sleepy.


This was the cafeteria with Filipino staff too


Some cute guy buying ice cream


Here’s what I ate in Houston: my favorite chicken salad


Cafeteria food—that’s chicken, fish and pork chop


Really good steak from the hospital’s Oaks restaurant

MD Anderson restaurant

and fish if I wanted healthy


Meet my favorite couple in Houston: Dr. Benjamin and Paz Tiongson


and their baby Aston five years ago


Is it crazy to say I miss this place?


Cause I do, but not hoping to visit a patient or be one


Because in spite of what happened in 2008, I had good memories too that I’ll always keep with me.
I just want to visit one more time and hopefully, maybe, not again.


Hugo Boss presents Winter 2013 in Shanghai
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Shanghai’s Power Station of Art museum became the venue for Hugo Boss’ Mens and Womenswear Collections for Winter 2013.
Opened last October 1, 2012, the Power Station of Art is China’s first public museum of contemporary art.
The current name is a vestige of the building’s past: it was constructed in 1897 for the Nanshi Electric Light Factory.

BOSS Winter 2013 Fashion Show Shanghai at The Power Station of Art in Shanghai on 30.05.2013 (11)

Inspired by the building’s legacy, the shape of the runway echoed a bolt of lightning.

Location of the BOSS Shanghai Fashion Show on May 30, 2013 (5)

LEDs illuminated the 200-foot-long runway on which top models showcased the collection.

BOSS Winter 2013 Fashion Show Shanghai at The Power Station of Art in Shanghai on 30.05.2013 (34)
BOSS Winter 2013 Fashion Show Shanghai at The Power Station of Art in Shanghai on 30.05.2013 (41)
BOSS Winter 2013 Fashion Show Shanghai at The Power Station of Art in Shanghai on 30.05.2013 (31)
Models in BOSS

Some 1,000 invited guests—including Asian and international stars such as Carey Mulligan, Gerard Butler, Chow-Yun Fat and Cherie Chung, press representatives from around the globe, and buyers—attended the show.

China Chow
China Chow

Gerard Butler (1)
Gerard Butler

Carey Mulligan
Carey Mulligan

Marcel Nguyen und Damla Cavdar
Marcel Nguyen and Damla Cavdar

Lin Chi-ling
Lin Chi-ling

Kwon Sang-Woo
Huang Xiaoming

Tan Yuan Yuan
Tan Yuan Yuan

In the Philippines, BOSS is exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists, Inc. (SSI) and is located at Greenbelt 5, Rustan’s Shangri-la, Shangri-la Plaza Mall, and Newport Mall.

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